Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract During the summer of 1980–81, a rudimentary form of wet-only event sampling was employed to collect a total of 294 rainwater samples at 12 sites spread across the metropolitan region of Sydney, Australia's largest city. From the samples were determined conductivity, pH, ammonium, chloride and nitrate ion concentrations as well as deposited water volume. Supplementary data consisting of city-wide averaged SO2, NO2, NO, and O3 concentrations and 950 mb wind speed and direction were obtained for times coinciding with the period during which each event occurred. The pH of rainwater upwind of the city and unaffected by urban/industrial emissions was found to be usually ≥5, whereas the volume-weighted mean pH of all the metropolitan samples was 4.4, indicating that local emissions significantly increased rainwater acidity in the near field. Time available for conversion of precursors to acids averaged 1–2 h only. Considerable day-to-day variability in rainwater composition was observed. Factors identified as contributing to this variability included precursor gas concentration, wind speed, wind direction, amount of water deposited per event and possibly time of day. These results show that physical/meteorological factors cannot be excluded from consideration if variance in rainwater composition data is to be explained.
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